SYNOPSIS – Jesus responded to criticisms over his looseness to Sabbath regulations by demonstrating that he is Lord of the “Sabbath Day” – Mark 2:23-3:6.
On one occasion in Galilee, a group of religious leaders objected to the looseness of Jesus to their Sabbath Day traditions, but he used the opportunity to demonstrate that the Messiah, the “Son of Man,” is “Lord” even over that day. God did cease His creative activities on the seventh day; however, the formal establishment of the Sabbath as a regulated day did not occur until the Torah was given at Mount Sinai.
Continue reading AUTHORITY OVER THE SABBATH
SYNOPSIS – Paul emphasizes the exalted position of Jesus that resulted from his death and resurrection – Colossians 1:18-19.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul stresses the exalted position of Jesus that resulted from his obedient death and his resurrection from the dead. Some members of the congregation remained confused about the authority of the Son of God, even over the spiritual powers that are hostile to him and his people. Therefore, Paul reminded them of just how highly God had exalted the one who became the “firstborn of the dead.”
Continue reading HEAD OF THE BODY
Paul argued for tolerance within the church on food regulations and observing holy days because the “shadows” have found their fulfillment in Jesus – Romans 14:1-12.
The law of Moses specified what kinds of food the people of God could eat by distinguishing between that which was ritually “clean” and “unclean,” and the consumption of the latter was forbidden. A comprehensive description of the dietary regulations given to Israel is found in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Leviticus.
Continue reading PAUL ON FOOD AND CALENDARS
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul chides Christians who desire “to return to bondage to the weak and beggarly rudiments” of the world, specifically pointing to calendrical observations as constituting this very thing (Galatians 4:9-10). Since believers now live in the era of fulfillment, any resort to such rituals from the old order is wholly inappropriate.
In the larger paragraph, Paul addresses both Jewish (“we”) and Gentile (“you”) believers (Galatians 4:1-11). The issue is an effort to require Gentile believers to undergo circumcision and thereby “complete” their faith (3:1-5; 5:2-4). Continue reading Calendar Rituals – Rudiments of the Old Era
According to Galatians, the jurisdiction of the Torah reached its termination point with the arrival of Jesus – The “seed” of Abraham.
In responding to claims that Gentiles must be circumcised, Paul appealed first to the common experience of the Spirit received by the Galatians. Did they receive the gift in response to a “hearing of faith” or “from the works of the Law?” Having begun in the Spirit, why did they now seek “to complete” their faith on the basis of “flesh,” in this case, by submitting to circumcision?
Continue reading PROVISIONAL NATURE OF THE LAW